Experience is truly the best teacher; however, most of us would prefer learning the tough lessons from the experience of someone other than ourselves. My passion for community stems from a belief that mistakes, setbacks and reversals need not be replicated by one individual after the next, but should be experienced by a handful of forerunners, who then share lessons to benefit the group.
Magnify Your Strengths
The words of Stephen Covey come to mind. He explains that by working effectively with others we can magnify our strengths, and render our weaknesses irrelevant because of the strengths of others. I am thrilled to think of my strengths being magnified, recognized and deployed to benefit my world. But imagining my weaknesses as “irrelevant” relieves my stress, energizes my spirit and empowers me with great joy. So, without apology, I will continue to promote the value of belonging to a financial learning community, for all who would build wealth for today and leave a legacy of wealth for the future.
Kudos to You
Allow me to pause a moment to give kudos to everyone who is currently reading this article. You are among those who understand the value of leveraging other people’s experience. Well done! Plugging into this and other communities, will catapult your progress to a higher level of achievement. And as we invite others into our world of leveraged experiences, we will make a dramatic difference in the wellbeing of all society. You have transitioned from individual action (independence) and have embraced the upgrade of inter-dependence.
Our culture of rugged individualism has run headlong into the digital age. The world of finances and technology have merged into a distinct new thing, fintech. This innovation is changing rapidly and expanding to infiltrate every aspect of life on planet earth. Keeping up with all we need to know is becoming more challenging, adding to the stress load each of us carries. Collaborating with others has become necessary to survival. Lone Rangers don’t stand a chance. The time has come for us to stop and consider the skills needed to become good citizens of a voluntary, collaborative, learning community.
Having worked through several years in the fintech space, I’ve uncovered a few tips to ponder. By several years I mean, well, six years! Afterall, the industry that has only be around since 2009, and over 60% of the general population does not even know that it exists. I have served the industry, been wounded in action and so I have bragging rights of a veteran. My wounds can be summed up as losses – rather substantial ones.
Losses are par for the course, because about 90% – 95% of all crypto/blockchain/fintech projects fail. Anyone who enters the arena will sustain losses. But I held fast to two beliefs which kept me in the game. First, I believed that the 5 – 10% of blockchain projects are well founded and well-funded and will ultimately offer opportunities to build massive wealth. Second, I fully believe that the technology is here to stay, and that early adopters stand to gain the most. With these thoughts in mind, I stayed engaged. And here’s where the story gets really juicy.
A husband and wife who had dropped out of a failed project called asking for help recovering their lost funds. They were senior citizens with significant health problems and great financial need. I felt bad for them, but helpless to assist. Then I had an epiphany. Our current project (which grew out of the failed one) has allowed me to recover all my losses – tenfold! Those who left the community after the project cratered, left at a deficit. But some of us stayed, pressed through, followed our leaders and created another project. We are now whole—no, we are better than whole! With great excitement I invited the couple to come back into the fold and helped them create a plan to recover their losses.
Thinking of their story, I developed the key skills which allow an individual to fully leveraging the experiences of others in community.
Seven Key Skills
Get Together. Yes, I believe simply finding a group of like minds, interests and goals may be quite challenging and requires a degree of practice and skills. In a land of too many choices, we have grown accustomed to jumping in and out of organizations on a whim. The idea of finding one that serves us well and making a commitment to become a fully functioning, contributing member is foreign to most of us.
Stay Together. Good and profitable times are usually the glue that holds people together. “Assez le bon temps roler”, as they say in New Orleans. But learning to stick with the group and work through hard times requires an uncommon level of confidence, trust and perseverance.
Absorb Losses Together. Banding together to buffer the blows when things fall apart is essential to functioning in community. Troubling times tempt us to jump ship, but life out in the open sea is frequently much more dangerous.
Persevere Together. “It ain’t over until we all win!” The leaders of our community fought hard to align us with resources and craft a plan that we could test and perfect together.
Learn and Re-Learn Together. Lessons from our losses became the foundation that led to great gains.
Seek Solutions Together. Adopting the mantra “Never give up” we kept developing, testing, redesigning and testing again, until the products served our present needs, and pointed the way to even better products in the future.
Rise Together. While rising is the inevitable outcome of skills one through six (above), it specifically focuses on celebrating group victories!
Leveraging the experiences of others in a structured, learning community is no longer optional for those of us who are serious about building personal wealth. Moreover, this leverage becomes our greatest blessing to the world, as our experience becomes other people’s experience.
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